A recurring theme at Diggers and Dealers 2020 has been the focus on reducing carbon emissions, setting long-term green targets and introducing new technologies to assist in these transitions. For BHP Nickel West, it’s about that whilst also supplying some of the means for the world to make those changes happen.
Addressing delegates at day two of the conference, Nickel West asset president Eduard Haegel said it was the company’s ambition to reduce its own operational greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent before the end of 2030.
“We continue to invest in our existing Nickel West asset. We are transforming from a 50 year old stainless steel supplier into one of the world’s leading nickel suppliers to the battery sector,” Mr Haegel said today.
“We are a future-facing commodity in the right jurisdiction here in Western Australia with products that will help accelerate the decarbonisation of transportation and, in time, electricity generation.”
Mr Haegel said Tesla founder Elon Musk’s recent call-out to nickel producers was a welcome reminder that there is a looming massive demand for battery-grade products.
“Our ambition is to develop the investment case to materially grow Nickel West and reduce our underlying costs,” he said.
“We’re executing on these plans as we speak; we’re increasing our nickel reserves, completing our resource transition to new mines, starting to prepare for future technologies, and beginning the commissioning of our nickel sulphide plant at Kwinana.”
Mr Haegel said the company has taken note that across the world, the greater the effort to decarbonise, the stronger the positive impact is for the demand for nickel.
“In our central energy view, we expect to see the accumulative demand over the next few years is 250 per cent of that of the past 30 years,” Mr Haegel said.
“Nickel is a standout winner from a decarbonising world. It secures this position because no matter what metals (or combination of metals) are tested in lithium ion battery cathodes, nickel produces the highest energy density of any.
“This is an insight for why nickel has such a positive future. It is the workhorse of the lithium ion battery.”